Unlike most religious congregations, the Little Franciscans of Mary do not have one but ELEVEN founding sisters. These women who gathered in a common project based on devotion and self-sacrifice overcame many obstacles to establish a new congregation.
Mother Marie-Joseph (Marie-Louise Rondeau) 1870-1922
Mother Marie-Anne-de-Jésus (Marie Bibeau) 1865-1924
Mother Marie-Dominique (Lumina Bolduc) 1870-1952
Mother Marie-Thérèse-de-Jésus (Elzire Roy) 1871-1898
Mother Marie-Alexis (Cordélie Robillard) 1846-1939
Mother Marie-Zotique (Étudienne Blais) 1858-1930
Mother Alphonse-Marie-de-Liguori (Albertine Riopel) 1872-1936
Mother Marie-des-Sept-Douleurs (Emma Decelles) 1860-1937
Mother Marie-Égide-d’Assise (Rosanna Marcil) 1862-1949
Mother Marie-Frédéric (Zélie Perron) 1852-1939
Mother Marie-de-Bon-Secours (Agnès Perron) 1856-1892
Dates and Important Events
- In Worcester, Massachusetts, Marie Louise Rondeau and other women join efforts to care for orphans and several elderly persons. Other Seculars are drawn to their dedication.
- In Baie-Saint-Paul, parish priest Curé Ambroise-Martial Fafard buys a tract of land and sets up hospice care for the elderly.
- A request from the Worcester Secular group to form a religious community is rejected by Bishop Patrick Thomas O’Reilly.
- In Worcester, fifteen of the seventeen Seculars leave the orphanage and move into the House of Misery. Bishop O’Reilly orders they be disrobed.
- A few weeks later, the Caring Virgin transmits this message to Agnès Perron: “Walk, my little sisters, you will succeed!”
- In November, invited by Curé Fafard, four Seculars arrive in Baie-Saint-Paul to assist him at St. Anne Hospice, which also cares for people with intellectual disabilities.
- Monseigneur Michel-Thomas Labrecque, the Bishop of Chicoutimi which includes the parish of Baie-Saint-Paul, assesses the Constitution of the Little Franciscans of Mary, and gives his approval to the community.
- A first group takes their vows, pledging to observe the Congregation’s Constitutional Rules; they are officially recognized as nuns.
- Curé Fafard plans to build a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart, and a Mother house for the new congregation. He passes away the following year.
- Led by Founding Mother Marie-Anne-de-Jésus, construction on the chapel and Motherhouse begins.
- The Little Franciscans of Mary’s Constitutional Rules are reviewed according to Canon Law and Seraphic Rule, by Franciscan Brother Berchmans-Marie Mangin. They are approved by Bishop Labrecque.
- Brother Berchmans-Marie Mangin then drafts le Directoire de politesse et de perfection, le Coutumier, a handbook of customary practices, and a prayer book, as well as a questionnaire for new candidates. He refines their coat of arms, designs their official seal and composes the chant Rappelle-toi.
- The Chapel is consecrated by Domestic Prelate and Vicar General of Chicoutimi and the Motherhouse is placed under the patronage of Mary Immaculate.
- Affiliation with the Seraphic Order (Franciscan) and approval by Rome of the Little Franciscans of Mary Congregation